What is Coaching?


The International Coach Federation defines coaching as,

"partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."(1)

The International Association of Coaches defines coaching as,

"a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth, and the expansion of possibilities."(2)

Coaching has also been described as,

"a partnership... in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires and supports [the client] to maximize their personal and professional potential."(3)

"A vehicle for helping people to achieve a higher level of well-being and performance in life and work, particularly when change is hard."(3)


"an ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, career, businesses, or organizations. With each meeting, the client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into action. Coaching accelerates the client's progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future."(4)

Go to Coaching Settings to learn about the different settings in which coaching is delivered.


(1) International Coach Federation (2018). Retrieved April 18, 2018 from http://coachfederation.org/about.
(2) International Association of Coaches (2018). Retrieved April 18, 2018 from http://certifiedcoach.org/.
(3) Moore, M., Jackson, E., Tschannen-Moran, B. (2016). Coaching Psychology Manual. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Wolters Kluwer (p 1).
(4) International Coach Federation (2015). Retrieved May 3, 2015 from http://coachfederation.org/need/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=978&navItemNumber=567.